May 16, 2014

Sierra Nevada Harvest Single Hop IPA – Yakima #291

A well crafted single-hopped beer of any style can showcase the array of flavors that our favorite flower can produce. Whether of the imperial variety of IPA like the tasty brews from the likes of Maryland’s Flying Dog or the relatively simple and clean Harvest Single Hop IPA series from Sierra Nevada, a singular focus on one strain of hop is an endeavor that I will happily explore just about every time.

With the first in this five-bottle series, Sierra Nevada has decided to hone in their abilities to pull every bit of flavor and nuance from the experimental and unnamed Yakima #291 hop variety. The brewery apparently went through 70 hop varieties before deciding up on #291 and, what I have read, it’s blueberry tinged aroma — I personally didn’t pick up any blueberry from the brew, but then again every one’s palate is different.

What I did get from this Harvest Singly Hop IPA was a great drinking and refreshing brew packed with a smooth, fresh hop character and moderate bitterness. The beer isn’t as pungent as several of the brewery’s other offerings in the Harvest series, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

Sierra Nevada Harvest Single Hop IPA - Yakima #291 photo


A frothy stack of off-white foam falls slowly atop a slightly hazy, golden amber. A solid amount of lacing was left behind as it dropped.


The hop profile of this brew is floral, lightly tropical and grassy with a peppery tingle and soft pine notes. Grain and lightly toasted bread help round out a great smelling beer.


Grapefruit, lemon, floral hops, light pine, grass and a soft black pepper presence arrive smoothly atop a solid backbone of crackers and grain. The appropriately crisp carbonation pushes the hop flavors and moderate bitterness along the palate briskly, leading toward the lightly drying finish. A hint of malt sweetness lingers for a bit.


I’ve always liked what Sierra Nevada has done with their Harvest series (Northern and Southern Hemisphere releases) and this single-hopped IPA is right in line with what I’ve come to expect from the company. It’s got a great hop character, appropriate bite and, at 6.5% ABV, goes down with deceptive ease.

I’ve professed on this site about many a beer being great after a long day out in the sun, but no brewery has consitently delivered that optimal flavor and refreshing nature as Sierra Nevada — their Yakima #291 is another in a great line of beers.

Rating: 3.75/5

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